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VARIABLE – RATE NITROGEN APPLICATION IN WHEAT PRODUCTION ON THE BASIS OF SATELLITE IMAGES ANALYSIS TO INCREASE YIELD AND REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

J. Elbl, V. Lukas, A. Kintl, J. Kynický, M. Brtnický
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Variable rate application (VRA) of fertilizers represents specific crop management where N is applied on the basis of information about field yield potential, plant health and quality. The main goal of this study was to assess the influence of nitrogen VRA (VRA-N) on grain yield and nitrogen use efficiency in winter wheat production. The VRA has been realized according application maps only for production and qualitative dose of N. Application maps for individual fields were prepared by SatAgro Company on the basis of analysis of satellite images (Sentinel 2, SPOT). The main output of this analysis was the determination of the amount of the plant biomass on the field using vegetation index NDVI. The principle of fertilization was different for production and qualitative dose. During production application of N, the highest doses were applied on the part of the field with the lowest amount of nitrogen and conversely. Above all during qualitative application, the highest dose of N was applied on the best part of the field. The field experiment with the application maps from SatAgro Company was established in Spearhead Czech, in 2016 and VRA technologies have been tested there on more than 4 000 ha each year since 2012. Measurements of grain yield (GY) and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) were carried out to study the above goal in 2016 and 2017. In both years of the experiment, the results showed that the VRA-N had significant positive effect on GY and NUE by wheat. The average GY from variants with VRA-N was higher by 200 kg/ha in 2016 and by 317 kg/ha in 2017, compared to the variant where conventional technology was used. Above all, the ratio between the amount of N removed from the field with the winter wheat and the amount of applied N, i.e. NUE, was higher by about 6 % in variant where VRA technology was used. The values NUE showed a positive effect of VRA-N on utilization of N indicating the reduction of the environmental risk of N loss from the agro-ecosystem.

Keywords: winter wheat, variable rate application, NDVI, satellite technology


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